This Easy Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce Recipe is total Fall deliciousness! With pumpkin puree and warm Fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and also fresh sage, this is total comfort and coziness in every bite! Best part is it is ready in less than 30 minutes!
- Why you'll love this recipe:
- What ingredients are in this pumpkin pasta recipe?
- How to make creamy pumpkin pasta with sage
- Expert tips to make creamy pumpkin pasta sauce:
- Variations for the best pumpkin sauce for pasta:
- What to serve it with:
- How to store vegan pumpkin pasta?
- Can you freeze the pumpkin sauce?
- Some other pumpkin recipes you’ll enjoy:
- Pumpkin Pasta Sauce Recipe
This pasta is totally vegan and could be made gluten-free using your favorite GF pasta.
We are talking about a pasta that you could make for a very special date or for the kids (my kids just love the pumpkin saucehttps://www.savoringitaly.com/vegan-cheese-sauce-pasta/!).
Why you'll love this recipe:
- Super creamy and healthy: This pumpkin pasta sauce is really creamy and dairy-free! It’s made with pumpkin puree and nut milk (I used unsweetened almond milk).
- Comfort of Fall: Just one bite brings you all Fall flavors you love. Coziness on a plate!
- Ready in less than 30 minutes: This creamy pumpkin pasta dish is pretty quick to make! The sauce takes about 20 minutes to cook up. You can make the pasta while the sauce finishes coming together. Perfect for a busy weeknight!
What ingredients are in this pumpkin pasta recipe?
Here is all you need to make this delicious Fall pasta recipe:
- Penne pasta: A hearty pasta that pairs well with the creamy pumpkin sauce.
- Extra-virgin olive oil or your preferred mild flavored oil: Adds a touch of richness and enhances the overall taste.
- Margarine (or butter if not vegan/dairy-free): Provides a luscious, creamy texture to the sauce.
- Onion (sweet, white, or shallot): Adds a savory depth of flavor to the sauce.
- Sea salt: Enhances the taste and balances the flavors.
- Crushed black pepper: Adds a subtle kick of heat and complements the other spices.
- Pumpkin puree: The star ingredient that gives the sauce its rich, velvety texture and delightful pumpkin flavor.https://www.savoringitaly.com/pumpkin-bundt-cake-with-salted/
- Ground cinnamon: Adds warmth and a hint of spice to the sauce.
- Ground nutmeg: Imparts a fragrant, earthy note to the sauce.
- White wine: Adds a touch of acidity and complexity to the sauce (can be substituted with water if desired).
- Milk (almond milk works well): Creates a creamy base and adds a subtle sweetness to balance the savory elements.
- Freshly chopped sage: Provides a fresh and herbaceous flavor that complements the pumpkin sauce beautifully.
How to make creamy pumpkin pasta with sage
Full printable recipe is below, but this is the summary.
First thing is to gather all the ingredients.
Start by heating the butter and oil in a large skillet (I used margarine and extra-virgin olive oil). Add in the onion (I used purple onion) and cook until it shimmers and is translucent.
Add in some flour if you're using to thicken the sauce (or a bit of cornstarch mixed with a bit of water stirred together to dissolve). You could even make the sauce without thickening it.
Next, add in the wine and cook until it reduces. Add in the spices, salt and pepper.
Add in the pumpkin puree and the milk (I used unsweetened almond milk). While you prep the sauce, the pasta is cooking. Once the pasta is ready, reserve some of the cooking water.
Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the sauce. Stir to combine it all together and add a bit of the pasta water to thin out, if needed. Stir in the chopped fresh sage. Taste the sauce adjust the seasoning to your taste (more salt and pepper or add a little kick with some spice, like cayenne pepper).
Quick Tip: Don't forget to reserve some of the pasta water before draining. The pasta water is great to adjust the sauce's texture. It could make it creamier.
I used penne pasta, but you could use spaghetti or even rigatoni. Whatever pasta you like would really work.
Expert tips to make creamy pumpkin pasta sauce:
- For added richness, you can substitute heavy cream for milk in the sauce.
- If you prefer a spicier flavor, consider adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce.
- To enhance the dish's texture, you can top it with toasted pine nuts or grated Parmesan cheese.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- This recipe can easily be made gluten-free by using your favorite gluten-free pasta brand.
- Experiment with different herbs and spices to customize the flavor profile of the sauce to your liking.
Variations for the best pumpkin sauce for pasta:
Here are some variations and substitutions you can try with this recipe:
- Pasta: Feel free to use your favorite pasta shape instead of penne. Rigatoni, farfalle, or fusilli would work well.
- Oil: If you prefer a different oil, such as grapeseed or avocado oil, you can use that instead of extra-virgin olive oil.
- Margarine: Use butter if you're not following a vegan or dairy-free diet.
- Onion: Experiment with different types of onions or shallots to vary the flavor.
- Pumpkin Puree: If you don't have pumpkin puree, you can use butternut squash puree as a substitute.
- Spice Variations: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or smoked paprika for an extra kick of flavor.
- Wine: If you prefer not to use wine, you can substitute it with vegetable or chicken broth.
- Milk: Almond milk can be substituted with other non-dairy milk alternatives like coconut milk or soy milk.
- Sage: If you're not a fan of sage, try using fresh Italian parsley as a garnish.
What to serve it with:
- A side salad with mixed greens and a light vinaigrette dressing
- Garlic bread or crusty baguette slices
- Roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts or butternut squash
- Grilled tofu (for the vegans). If not vegan, grilled chicken or sautéed shrimp for added protein
How to store vegan pumpkin pasta?
Once the pasta has cooled, store any leftovers in an airtight container or a zipped lock freezer bag in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 3 days. Any leftover sauce could be stored separately.
Can you freeze the pumpkin sauce?
Yes, you can make the sauce and store it separately in an airtight container or zipped lock freezer bag. Store for up to 3 months. I do not recommend storing the pasta mixed with the sauce.
Originally published September 2021 updated for content September 2023.
Yes, use your favorite gluten-free pasta and gluten-free flour to make the sauce.
Yes, you can! Instead of pasta, use carrot noodles, zucchini noodles, or even use spaghetti squash in place of pasta.
Use approximately 1.5 cups of pumpkin puree in place of the canned pumpkin.
Be sure that your homemade puree smooth. Use a blender or food processor to make it creamy.
Yes, coconut milk works great in this sauce. Be sure to buy unsweetened coconut milk.
Use whichever pasta you have on hand. Short pasta shapes work nicely for this sauce, like penne, fusilli, orecchiette, or macaroni. Even spaghetti or pappardelle would be fine!
You could add a tablespoon of flour to the sauce and whisk it together while you’re making it. Or in a small bowl, add a tablespoon of cornstarch and a tablespoon of water. Whisk together and add to the sauce. If it seems too thick while it’s cooking up, add a bit more milk or reserved cooking water from the pasta(I used unsweetened almond milk) to loosen and thin it out a little.
Some other pumpkin recipes you’ll enjoy:
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Lasagna
- Pumpkin Cranberry Scones
- Sourdough Pumpkin Coffee Cake
- Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes
Did you make this? Please RATE THE RECIPE below:)
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce Recipe
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or mild flavored oil you like
- 2 Tablespoons margarine I used Earth Balance, use butter if you’re not vegan/dairy-free
- 1 small onion minced (I used purple. Sweet, or white onion or shallot works fine)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup white wine
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk I used almond milk, use real milk if you're not vegan/dairy-free
- 2 Tablespoon fresh sage chopped
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Cook the pasta making sure it's not quite al dente (so about 1 minute less than the cooking time, because you'll be combining in pan with the sauce and heating together and it will cook a little more).
- While the pasta is cooking, prep the pumpkin sauce.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have become translucent and have totally softened, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add the wine (water, if you’re not using wine), cinnamon, nutmeg, and simmer until it reduces (about 3-5 minutes). Stir in the pumpkin puree and add in the milk. Stir to combine. Check seasoning, and add some more salt and pepper, if needed.
- When pasta is cooked reserve some of the pasta water (1/2 cup is good), drain well and immediately add the pasta to the pan with pumpkin sauce. On medium heat, give it a nice stir to combine it all together. If it’s too thick, loosen it with a little bit of the reserved pasta water and stir it all together.
- Spoon it out onto plates. Add some more crushed black pepper (if you like). Sprinkle on the chopped fresh sage. Enjoy!
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
- Pumpkin: I used canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling). You could make this with your own homemade pumpkin puree.
- Spices: Adjust them to your taste. I add the spice and taste and then always end up adding another dash of cinnamon or nutmeg or both. I like mine to have more of the spice flavor, so adjust yours to your taste.
- Milk: I used unsweetened almond milk. You could use whatever nut milk you like or use heavy cream or regular whole milk (if you’re not vegan or dairy-free).
- Sage: The pasta really comes together with the fresh sage. IF you can’t get your hands on any, make it with some fresh thyme. If everyone likes the fresh sage, stir it into the sauce before combining with the pasta. If not everyone enjoys it, sprinkle it on the plates for those that like it.
- Serve: Enjoy this pasta as soon as it cooks. The sauce will not stay creamy as it cools down.